Tuesday, March 29, 2016

News of the Day


Character means doing the right thing. Thank you, governor.
The next significant primary in the race for the Republican party's presidential nomination takes place in Wisconsin on April 5.

Earlier today, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who was himself a candidate for the nomination last fall, announced his endorsement of Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

If Senator Cruz is going to successfully blunt asshat Donald Trump's drive to be the party's nominee, the Wisconsin contest will be critical. Walker's popularity with Wisconsin Republicans remains quite high, so this endorsement should give Cruz a significant boost. It was a welcome bit of news.

Speaking of asshat Trump, this morning his campaign manager was charged with committing battery on a female reporter in Florida...

"So, your day is off to a good start, then?"

Not too bad, no...of course, all the news wasn't good...

Requiescat in Pace

On The Patty Duke Show in 1963
This morning also brought the news of the death of actress Anna Marie "Patty" Duke.
She was 69.

Duke burst into stardom at just age 16 when she became the youngest person ever to win an Academy Award for her unforgettable Best Supporting Actress performance in  
The Miracle Worker in 1962. (She had created the role in the original Broadway stage production of William Gibson's play.)

I had an enormous crush on her because of her successful sitcom The Patty Duke Show.

Spring Training Winds Down

One of the toughest parts of the spring training season is the release of players whom fans had hoped might make the team.

Yesterday the Royals released LHP Brian Duensing, whom they had signed from the Twins over the winter to compete for a bullpen spot. With the loss of LHP Tim Collins to a second Tommy John procedure, it was thought that Duensing (who had a fine spring) had a good shot.

There are more cuts yet to be made before the Royals open the defense of their World Championship on April 3 at Kauffman Stadium against the New York Mets in a rematch from the 2015 World Series.

Another Sure Sign of Spring

From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On March 29, 1943 Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou was born in Agria, Greece. Performing professionally under the name Vangelis, he enjoyed some success in the '70s working with bands and recording solo works, including soundtracks. He was a pioneer of synthesizer-heavy electronic music.

His music burst into the mainstream in 1981, with the release of his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, which had also won the Best Picture Oscar that year.

The selection of Vangelis to provide the film's music was quite unusual, since the film is a period piece depicting events leading up to the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

"Titles," the theme that opens and closes the film, is often mistakenly referred to as "Chariots of Fire." Under that name it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart on May 8, 1982, an unusual achievement for an instrumental. It is also the only Billboard No. 1 hit by a Greek artist.

Driven by the success of "Titles," the soundtrack album from the film also reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart on April 17, 1982. It held the top spot for four consecutive weeks.

Vangelis went on to score other films, most notably the Ridley Scott science fiction classic Blade Runner, but it is safe to say that Chariots of Fire will be the work for which he is best remembered.

Today's send-off is the complete "Chariots of Fire" composition, which took up the entirety of Side Two back in the days of vinyl records. Enjoy...

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